With authorities still looking for the man who shot two unsuspecting Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Saturday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Monday the fact that the pair survived is a “miracle.”
Each deputy suffered multiple gunshots including to the head and face, but “got through surgery well,” Villanueva told KABC radio. He said he expects each will “have a long road to recovery.”
Detectives have not yet identified a suspect in the shooting and thanks to donations from two private donors, a reward has been increased to $175,000, according to the sheriff.
The deputies are hospitalized in critical condition. “The fact that they escaped death is a miracle,” Villanueva said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said one deputy, a 31-year-old mother, aided her 24-year-old male partner after they were wounded.
“Thanks to the prayers and the thoughts and the amazing doctors who have attended to them, it looks like they will both live, which is an absolute miracle,” Garcetti told CNN.
He said the female deputy, by applying a tourniquet and calling for help, saved the other deputy’s life.
How the attack unfolded
The shooting happened shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday at MLK Transit Center in Compton, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The gunman walked toward the passenger’s side of the deputies’ vehicle, raised a pistol and shot both deputies, Capt. Kent Wegener said.
The sheriff’s department tweeted surveillance video of the shooting and the gunman running away.
“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Villanueva said. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”
Both deputies were sworn in 14 months ago, the sheriff said.
Trump, Biden and Schiff denounce the attack
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the shooting.
“When we find that person, we got to get much faster with our courts, and we got to get much tougher with our sentencing,” Trump told a group of supporters in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Biden called the shooting “absolutely unconscionable.”
“Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America — as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on,” Biden said in a statement.
Democratic US Rep. Adam Schiff, whose district includes parts of Los Angeles County, called the attack “cowardly.”
“Every day, law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect our community,” Schiff tweeted. “I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be quickly brought to justice.”